Best Hiking Trails In New Hampshire

  • Northern New Hampshire Hiking Trails

    Hiking in Northern NH offers an unparalleled outdoor experience, characterized by its rugged terrain, stunning alpine scenery, and a long hiking history. 

    The White Mountain Region of Northern New Hampshire is part of the northern Appalachian Mountains, spanning across New Hampshire and eventually into Maine. The region is known for bald rocky mountain peaks, deep glacial ravines, dazzling untouched forests, high elevation alpine tundra, pristine lakes, mighty rivers, and dramatic waterfalls. 

    Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States, at 6,288 feet, stands proudly in the center and can be seen from most anywhere in Northern NH. Mount Washington is also famous for having some of the most severe weather in the world, including very high winds (231 miles per hour was the fastest recorded) and has had snowfall recorded in every month of the year.

    The White Mountains boast an extensive network of over 600 hiking trails, including the famous Appalachian Trail (AT), which traverses the range for about 161 miles. This mountainous region includes several peaks over 4,000 feet,many other slightly smaller siblings, as well as flatter valley trails making it an excellent playground for folks of all ages and ability levels. 

    You could spend your whole life hiking trails in NH each time and never run out of new options.

  • White Mountain Hiking Trails

    The Presidential Range: The Presidential Range is one of the most iconic and spectacular mountain ranges in the Eastern United States. 

    The Range is known for its rugged terrain, rare alpine environment, stunning 200 mile panoramic views, and unpredictable weather. 

    Some of the most notable peaks in the range include:

    Mount Washington: The highest peak in the northeastern United States, standing at 6,288 feet. It is famous for its extreme weather conditions and being home to the Mount Washington Observatory, which sits atop the summit. Visitors can also drive themselves or take a train to the summit, so you most likely won’t find yourself alone if you hike the summit…which isn’t always a bad thing. 

    Insider Tip: There is a hiker shuttle that operates out of the Mt Washington Auto Road, offering one way passage either up or down for hikers who don’t want to round trip the summit. 

    The other less busy Northern Presidentials  (Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson, Mount Monroe, Mount Madison, Mount Eisenhower, and Mount Pierce) are all named after former U.S. presidents and are all over 5,000 feet in elevation offering incredible views of the 770,000 acre White Mountain National Forest and beyond. 

    The Presidential Range is known for its deep glacial ravines, including Tuckerman Ravine (famous for it’s late season extreme skiing) and Huntington Ravine (famous for it’s winter climbing) Other notables are The Great Gulf Ravine Wilderness Area, as well as  King Ravine, and Osgood Ravine.

    The Appalachian Trail traverses the Presidential Range, providing thru and section hikers access to some of the most challenging and rewarding sections of the trail.

    The Kilkenny Range located to the north of the Northern Presidentials is characterized by several prominent peaks, including Mount Cabot and the Devil’s Hopyard. This range is perfect for those who would like to get away from the crowd. The hiking trails were designed with this in mind offering very few low mile day hikes. 

    The most popular trail in the range is the Mount Cabot Trail, which provides access to Mount Cabot’s summit (Mount Cabot, at 4,170 feet is the highest peak in the Kilkenny Range and the northernmost of New Hampshire’s 4,000-footers) and gives hikers almost 3000 feet of elevation gain. Due to its remote location and rugged terrain, the Kilkenny Range appeals to experienced hikers and outdoor enthusiasts seeking a wilderness experience away from the crowds.

    The Cohos Trail:The Cohos Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that spans approximately 170 miles through the remote wilderness of Northern New Hampshire. The trail extends from the New Hampshire-Canada border near Pittsburg to the White Mountains’ southern boundary in Jefferson. The Cohos Trail traverses a diverse range of landscapes, including deep green forests, rolling hills, pristine lakes, and rugged mountains. Hikers can expect to encounter stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and a true sense of solitude and wilderness immersion along this trail. Notable highlights along the Cohos Trail include the Connecticut Lakes region, the Nash Stream Forest, and the challenging terrain of the Kilkenny Range. The Cohos Trail offers opportunities for hiking, backpacking, camping, wildlife viewing, and photography. The trail is divided into sections, with numerous access points and designated campsites along the route, making it accessible for hikers of varying skill levels and experience. While the entire trail can be hiked as a thru-hike, many hikers opt to explore shorter sections or complete day hikes in specific areas. The Cohos Trail is maintained by the Cohos Trail Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the trail. 

    You can purchase a Cohos Trail trail map from the Cohos Trail Association below at:

    Mahoosuc Range The Mahoosuc Range is situated in the White Mountains region of Northern New Hampshire and continues into western Maine. It is part of The Appalachian Trail and is known for its rugged terrain, steep slopes, and stunning alpine scenery. The range extends roughly 30 miles from east to west, with its highest peaks reaching elevations over 4,000 feet.

    The Mahoosuc Range is home to several notable peaks, including: 

    Old Speck Mountain: The highest peak in the Mahoosuc Range, standing at 4,180 feet. Goose Eye Mountain: Another prominent peak in the range, known for its distinctive double summit.

    Mahoosuc Notch: Often referred to as the “toughest mile” on the Appalachian Trail, this section of the trail passes through a narrow and rocky gorge, requiring hikers to navigate boulders and caves. Snow can still be present even into the hotter summer months. 

    The range offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness, including the Presidentials and Killkenney’s  to the west and the Carter Moriah Range to the south.The range’s remote and pristine wilderness attracts outdoor enthusiasts seeking solitude and adventure away from the crowds found in the Southern Presidentials of Lincoln and Franconia NH. 

    Dixville Notch: Dixville Notch is the northernmost notch in New Hampshire. It may not be as long as notches like Pinkham and Crawford but its narrow gap of a pass offers one of the most dramatic rides of any of our other beautiful notches. 

    Dixville Notch is situated near the town of Dixville in northern New Hampshire and being along the Moose Path Scenic Byway is a wonderful place to see Northern NH’s native wildlife. There is a wildlife viewing platform on the eastern end of Dixville Notch and is a great place to stretch your legs and wait to see a moose. 

    The notch is home to several notable attractions, including: 

    The Old Balsams Resort: A historic grand hotel located at the southern end of Dixville Notch. The resort had a rich history and offered luxury accommodations, dining, and recreational amenities. There is a group of investors and advocates working hard to resurrect this Grand Hotel. We all hope that they succeed. 

    The Table Rock Trail: A popular hiking trail that leads to Table Rock, a prominent cliff offering breathtaking views of Dixville Notch and the surrounding landscape. This short hike offers an amazing pay off. Those afraid of heights may not want to venture out onto table rock, but for those who aren’t afraid you’ll never forget it. 

    Dixville Notch is also best known for its role in the presidential primary elections. The village of Dixville Notch gained national attention for being the first place in the United States to cast its votes in presidential elections. Since 1960, the residents of Dixville Notch have gathered at midnight on election day to cast their ballots, making national headlines with their early voting tradition.

  • Our Best Hikes In New Hampshire

    With over 600 hiking trails in NH to choose from, we love them all. Below are a couple fun ones: 

    The Kilkenny Ridge trail leaving from the south end of the South Pond Recreation Area in Stark NH. 

    Mount Starr King Trail leaving its trailhead in Jefferson NH.

    Tuckerman Ravine Trail leaving AMC visitor center in Pinkham Notch.

    Cohos Trail section in Pittsburg NH.

    Table Rock Trail in Dixville Notch.

    19 Mile Brook Trail to Mt Height or Carter Notch leaving Pinkham Notch NH.

    Other great resources for hiking maps and trail information can be found below:

    The AMC New Hampshire White Mountain Hiking Guide  is a great paper back resource to have with you. is another great online resource for all of the trails in Northern NH. 

    Since cell service may not be available at all points along the trail it’s always the best idea to carry a paper map with you just in case. Happy Hiking!!